Saturday, 2 December 2006

New iPods

The iPod

While the company failed to launch the rumoured touch screen iPod, wireless-capable iPod or iPod phone, it did produce significant updates to its market-leading media player. The new iPods offer larger capacities (30GB, £189; 80GB, £259), 60 per cent brighter screens (which can be set to the desired level of illumination using on-screen controls) and new ways to navigate your collection of music and movies.

Battery life has improved. The 30GB model offers up to 14 hours of music playback and up to three and a half hours of video playback, while the 80GB model gives up to 20 hours of battery life for music playback and five and a half hours of video playback.

The new iPods also support a new “Search and Quick Scroll” feature, which lets users search for music alphabetically – a major boost when selecting tunes from large collections. Apple has also launched a range of games, which it is making available for download and purchase through iTunes.

Optional accessories include: Universal Dock (£25), iPod AV cable (£15), iPod Camera Connector (£19) and a new and small iPod USB power adaptor (£19).

The iPod Nano

Apple has introduced the second-generation iPod nano. Encased in a thinner aluminium body, it offers 24 hours of battery life for a single charge. Maximum capacity reaches 8GB, and you now get roughly twice as much storage for the same price. The new nanos have a click wheel and are available in silver, pink, green, blue and black. They also support gapless playback.

Like the iPod, the new nanos offer brighter screens and let users search through their iPod’s music collections alphabetically. The new iPod nanos are available now. The 2GB silver iPod nano is £99; the 4GB model (available in silver, pink, green and blue) costs £129 while the black 8GB model costs £169.

A new range of accessories for the iPod nano include lanyard headphones (£25), an armband (£19), iPod nano Dock (£19), and an iPod USB power adaptor (£19).

The iPod Shuffle

The latest iPod shuffle is a tiny half ounce device with a built-in clip that’s available only with a 1GB capacity. It costs £55. It’s about half the size of the previous version and has a cubic volume of half an inch.

The new version seems only just large enough to carry the iPod control wheel; controls include play, pause, volume up/down, previous and next song. Users can choose to play back tracks in a random order (shuffle), or opt to listen to their songs sequentially at the flip of a small switch. Apple promises a 12-hour battery life for the new device. It ships with its own USB 2.0 mini-dock, which updates the shuffle’s music library through the headphone jack alone.